The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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About Us

“Pain is deeper than all thought; laughter is higher than all pain”
— Elbert Hubbard

About Us

Our story is born from the horror of 9/11, the loss of our son, Christopher, and the grief that was, it seemed, shared by the entire nation. This was back when the wounds were fresh and the lessons weren’t yet beginning to fade from the collective memory of so many.

And if we did not believe that laughter is indeed higher than all pain we would still be wallowing. But we all know that our lives must move forward, and in the aftermath of 9/11 it was this thought that propelled us to turn “mourning into dancing,” as the Bible says. It was the thought that something good could come out of this tragedy that made us determined to make it so.

And once we decided to do something good to overcome the bad, we knew exactly what our mission would be: to keep Christopher’s name alive, and to honor his legacy as a teacher and passionate lover of America and her History.

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Who We Sponsor

Think Big. Start Small.

When the fund was started, we decided to limit the scope of eligibility for a number of reasons. Initially, we decided on opening up the Essay contest to schools which Christopher either attended or taught at. Same thing with the Firehouse eligibility. It all had to relate directly in some way to Christopher.

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Our Team

Our Team

Al and Maureen Santora started the scholarship fund in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Christopher was a lover of America and her history, and was a teacher in the New York City Public School system before entering the Fire Academy in January of 2001. It was clear to the Santoras right from the start that the intersection of American History and advancing education would be where they would try to do good.

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Eligible Schools, Firehouses & Cooperatives

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

High Schools

Eligible Firehouses

Eligible Co-Ops